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What a Difference a Wash Makes: How to Keep Your Car Looking Good

What a Difference a Wash Makes: How to Keep Your Car Looking Good

Washing your car regularly is one of the best ways of keeping it looking as good as new. Times may be tough for many, but a tighter budget shouldn’t mean that your car has to suffer: washing your car by hand is easy and free, and will keep it looking and feeling new, whether it’s a brand-new model or that used BMW you love so much. You can even get your kids involved and use car-washing as an opportunity to bond with them. So, how do you go about washing a car?

What You’ll Need

It’s best to get everything you’ll need to wash the car before you start in order to avoid having to abandon the job halfway through. So what do you need? Car-wash soap is specially designed for washing cars and is preferable to ordinary soap, which could damage your car’s paintwork. You’ll also need a sponge, a hose, a dry cloth and two buckets.

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Before You Begin

If it’s sunny out, park your car in the shade as the sun could cause it to dry too quickly, leaving streaks on the windows and the car’s body. Make sure that all windows and doors are closed properly to prevent water from leaking inside.

Washing the Car

To begin with, hose your car down to get it wet and prepare it for cleaning. Once you’ve done this, pour some of the car-wash soap into a bucket, and fill it up with water. Submerge your sponge in the soapy water and start washing your car from the top down, focusing on one section at a time. When you’ve washed a section to your satisfaction, hose it down before moving onto the next section.

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Try to keep the entire car wet while you’re washing it by spraying water on it with the hose every now and then. The bottom parts of the car, such as the wheels and the lower bodywork, are usually the dirtiest and should be left until last. As you wash the rest of the car, starting from the top, soapy water will run off the car and loosening dirt on the lower sections, so when you get to the really dirty parts, some of the work will have already been done for you!

Finally, use a dry cloth or towel  to dry your car. This stage is crucial, as you don’t want to nullify your own work by leaving streaks on your car, so be sure to do it properly and use a few dry cloths if necessary.

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It’s inevitable that dirt will build up on a car over time, but by washing your car regularly, you can keep it looking young and attractive, no matter how old it is. If you’re really lazy, you could just bribe the kids to do it for you every now and then!

Featured photo credit:  Car Wash with Flowing Water over Car Body via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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